The Sedalia Bombers held off Joplin 4-3 on Wednesday, taking a one and a half game lead in the division.
The Bombers led 4-1 before the Outlaws scored two runs to get within striking distance. In the ninth, the Outlaws had the tying run on first with one out after a walk, but Bombers closer Zac Anstine caught the next batter looking and got a pop out to short to end the game.
Joplin cut the lead to 4-2 in the seventh when former Bomber Ty White tripled and scored on a grounder. They added another in the eighth when pinch runner Samuel Ducet scored on a wild pitch. Anstine came on and found himself with runners at second and third with one out, but struck out the next two hitters to get out of the threat.
Starter Mark Reyes made his Bombers debut. The San Fransisco Giants draft pick out of Crowder College worked five innings and struck out five, allowing one run on five hits.
“It felt really good just being back on the field,” he said. “I was worried about getting strikes and finding the zone, but it was working pretty well for me.”
White reached to lead off the game on an infield single but Reyes induced a pair of ground balls to get the next two outs. After hitting a batter, he struck out Enrique Finol to end the inning.
He worked around a two-out single in the second and struck out the first two batters of the third on the way to a one-two-three inning. In the fourth he hit a batter and another reach on a two-out error, but a grounder up the middle ended the inning.
Joplin finally got to him in the fifth. Ryan Lazo led off with a single and stole second, scoring on a White bloop single to left.
The Bombers got on the board in the first inning. Jarrod Perry walked, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and stole third. He then stole home to make it 1-0.
“On the first pitch I kind of faked it,” Perry said. “The third baseman never did come in and the pitcher never looked at me. The next time I started out faking and then thought I might as well finish it out.”
Perry finished the game with three steals, including his first career steal of home. He attempted it once in high school, but was thrown out.
On Wednesday, Perry reached three times in the game, all on walks, and scored three runs.
“They were throwing me a lot away,” he said. “My approach (Wednesday) was trying to see something middle in, but I wasn’t seeing many strikes.”
They added two more runs in the third when a pair of walks and a bunt single loaded the bases and sacrifice flies by Hunter Leeper and Jonathan Ramon brought runs in.
After Joplin scored its first run in the top of the fifth, Sedalia answered in the bottom of the inning as Perry walked, stole second and scored on a Hunter Leeper single.